x 'Boopharyllis' pollen sterility?

Ken kjblack@pacbell.net
Fri, 22 Aug 2008 11:14:49 PDT
Hi Kelly,
Thank you.  So far ... blooms on scapes of all 5 flowering bulbs, all results of the same cross from the same (2000) year ... seem to be (at least) seed sterile.  On the largest, oldest flowering bulb, (now technically 2 bulbs w/4 scapes) most of the ovaries, after attempted pollination, simply turn yellow and dry up.  On 3 of the others ... I seem to get quite a few to remain green and which grow or swell.  However, in each of the last few years, they have yielded no apparent seed ... they have only been full of air.  The word is still out this year, but it appears I will get the same results.  
The fifth bulb of the group of siblings, does have markedly different florets than the others.  Narrower and somewhat darker pink petals, but similar (this year) to the others in having 20-30 florets, and all probably 1/2 size of normal individual A.belladonna flowers.  The bulb is more like its siblings, which are more similar to their Boophone parent, as they seem to grow more exposed above the soil surface.  I would assume tenderness, as both parents are somewhat tender, although I think A.belladonna probably displays a tad more cold tolerance than Boophone.  I've only had 1 light frost in my 9.5 years here in San Diego, about 2 miles from the Pacific Ocean. 

They all seem to produce some pollen, although not in abundance and I'm not sure of its viability.  There seems to be two kinds on each stamen ... some very small, powder-like ... and a few larger grain-like.  Perhaps the larger 'grains' are simply clumps of the powder-sized particles.   I've been using it on x A.belladonnas which probably have some Brunsvigia heritage.  Some of those ovaries are swelling.  Last year, in the same process, I did get a lot of seed ... but uncertain as to their parentage.

--- On Fri, 8/22/08, Kelly Irvin <kellso@irvincentral.com> wrote:
... Are you saying that all the progeny are sterile, or just the one that looks very similar to A. belladonna in flower structure? I find your last link to be quite different from the other specimen. Seems strange the forms would be so different, and I would more expect the last form than the first. I'm assuming, with such an exposed bulb, this would be a tender hybrid?

More information about the pbs mailing list